Nicolas Lombaerts and Dedryck Boyata out of Belgium's Euro 2016 squad
By Claire Corkery
Last Updated: 01/06/16 12:58pm
There was disappointment for Belgium on Monday after manager Marc Wilmots announced defenders Nicolas Lombaerts and Dedryck Boyata have been ruled out of playing in Euro 2016 through injury.
Christian Kabasel has been called up as a potential replacement, although the Racing Genk defender has yet to make his debut for his country.
Vincent Kompany and Bjorn Engels will also play no part in Belgium's Euro 2016 campaign, with Kompany sidelined with a thigh problem and Engels withdrawn over a groin injury.
However, Wilmots said he remains optimistic despite the loss of two further defenders to the backline.
"Even with all these injured players, I have a defence with Toby Alderweireld, Jason Denayer, Thomas Vermaelen and Jan Vertonghen. It's not too bad after all," Wilmots said.
Zenit St Petersburg's Lombaerts, who had been uncertain for some time with a thigh muscle tear, would probably have played, especially with the absence of Kompany.
Celtic defender Boyata was ruled out after pulling up in training, also with a muscle tear.
Belgium are currently second in the FIFA world rankings, with Argentina in first place.
Wilmots' side will face Finland on Wednesday and Norway on Saturday as part of their final warm-up matches before the European Championship.
The Belgian squad are in Group E of the Euros and will face Italy in their Euro opener on June 13 in France.
Also in Group E are Sweden and the Republic of Ireland.